President Donald Trump on Monday criticised media coverage of a United Nations resolution imposing sanctions on North Korea.
“The Fake News Media will not talk about the importance of the United Nations Security Council’s 15-0 vote in favour of sanctions on N. Korea!” he tweeted.
Business Insider wrote about the success of the UN resolution, quoting expert Yun Sun of the Stimson center as saying she was “quite impressed” with the sanctions. Other news outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, CNN, and New York Times, featured coverage of the story prominently on various media.
By all indications, China, North Korea’s treaty ally and main trading partner, was likely motivated to sign off on the sanctions because Trump’s administration threatened to sanction Chinese banks that do business with North Korea.
“The Trump administration was poised to impose secondary sanctions on several of these banks — some reports suggested about 10 — but that is probably unlikely now,” Bonnie Glaser, the director of the China Power Project at the Center for International and Strategic Studies, told Business Insider.
But the Chinese banks give North Korea a window into global financing, which Glaser said needs to be addressed if the sanctions are to work on curbing Pyongyang’s weapons programs or bringing them to the table to negotiate.
“Concessions were certainly made,” Jenny Town, the assistant director of the US-Korea Institute and a managing editor at 38 North, told Business Insider of the negotiations on the sanctions. Town added that China has a poor record of complying with UN sanctions on North Korea, and called it “wishful thinking” to believe that would change now.
Trump has succeeded in getting a UN resolution passed after North Korea laid bare a nuclear threat to the US mainland, but experts said it would do little or nothing to stop the weapons program.
Overall, “this reliance on sanctions to compel North Korea to rethink its overall strategic goals has not worked in the past,” Town said.
Sun, asked if the sanctions would lead North Korea to back away from weapons development, also suggested they would not.